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Angie Peltier


Angie Peltier
Former Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture



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Hill and Furrow

Current topics about crop production in Western Illinois, including field crops research at the NWIARDC in Monmouth.
Figure. Soil temperatures at the Northwestern IL Ag R&D Center in Monmouth, IL from March 1 through April 5, 2016 at 2 and 4 inch depth under bare soil and 4 inch depth under sod (data source: Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring Program. Illinois Climate Network. (2016). Illinois State Water Survey, 2204 Griffith Drive, Champaign, IL 61820-7495.)

Weather Summary and Soil Conditions - January through April 5, 2016

Posted by Angie Peltier - Weather

Precipitation. Although it may seem to be a rainy first quarter of 2016 as many of the more recent rain events are taking place at a time when spring field operations should be taking place, total precipitation at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center in 2016 is ½ inch below normal (Table). Both January and February were more than 1 inch below normal and March was a little more than 1.6 inches above normal.

2016 PRECIPITATION (in inches)

Since January 1

Month

Monthly Total

Monthly departure from average

Total accumulation

Total departure

January

0.56

-1.10

0.56

-1.10

February

0.83

-1.04

1.39

-2.14

March

4.39

1.64

5.78

-0.50

Air temperature. The average high temperature in January was 1 degree below the 30-year average of 33 degrees, and the monthly average low temperature did not differ from average. Average high temperatures in both February and March were above average, with February 2 degrees and March 3 degrees above average (Tables). Average low temperatures were 3 degrees warmer than average in February and 5 degrees warmer than average in March.

JANUARY 2016 WEATHER

Soil Temperature

Air Temp

2" (Bare)

4" (Bare)

4" (Sod)

(°F)

-------------------(°F)--------------------

Monthly average high

32

31.7

31.8

32.6

Monthly average low

16

27.1

29.3

31.8

Observed high (date)

49 (15, 31)

41.2 (8)

39.3 (8)

35.8 (8,9)

Observed low (date)

-6 (18)

12.1 (18,23)

17.5 (18)

28.0 (19)

FEBRUARY 2016 WEATHER

Soil Temperature

Air Temp

2" (Bare)

4" (Bare)

4" (Sod)

(°F)

-------------------(°F)--------------------

Monthly average high

40

36.8

34.5

32.8

Monthly average low

23

29.0

31.0

31.8

Observed high (date)

65 (29)

50.0 (29)

45.9 (28)

41.6 (29)

Observed low (date)

2 (13)

16.8 (13,23)

22.2 (13)

28.3 (13)

MARCH 2016 WEATHER

Soil Temperature

Air Temp

2" (Bare)

4" (Bare)

4" (Sod)

(°F)

-------------------(°F)--------------------

Monthly average high

54

52.3

49.2

46.4

Monthly average low

35

38.9

41.4

42.7

Observed high (date)

75 (9)

66.8 (15)

60.8 (15)

55.7 (15)

Observed low (date)

13 (2)

28.8 (2)

32.5 (2)

33.7 (2)

Soil Conditions - How Often Did Soils Freeze in 2016 (And When May They Be Fit for Planting)?

As very little snow fell or accumulated in 2016, soil temperatures were primarily influenced by day to day air temperature highs and lows (Tables and Figure). Soil temperatures at a depth of 4 inches and under sod remained above freezing for the first 16 days of January, for 10 days in February and every day in March. Soil temperatures at a depth of 4 inches under bare soil remained above freezing for the first nine days of January, for 18 days in February and all of March. The newest soil temperature probes were placed in 2015 at a depth of 2 inches under bare soil. Soil temperatures registered by this probe stayed above freezing for the first 9 days in January, for eight days in February and for all but 1 day in March.

Although the daily average soil temperatures were above 50 degrees for approximately 7 days in March and the first few days in April, temperatures have not been favorable for corn growth and development – above 50 degrees – for the remainder of that time. The rains over the last several days have resulted in wet soils at risk for compaction, and the cool air temperatures forecasted for the near future aren't helping the soil to dry.

References.

Soil temperature data were collected at the Northwestern IL Ag R& D Center and provided by: Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring Program. Illinois Climate Network. (2015). Illinois State Water Survey, 2204 Griffith Drive, Champaign, IL 61820-7495.

Air temperature and precipitation data were collected near the water treatment plant located north of the City of Monmouth and about 4 miles from the Northwestern IL Ag R&D Center. Data was accessed through the Midwestern Regional Climate Center cli-MATE tool.



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